Google chairman Eric Schmidt has spoken publicly about his company's court battle with Oracle, stating Google didn't "steal" an application programming interface (API) from the rival company.
The two are locked in a long-running dispute in which Oracle accuses Google of illegally copying the Java API in its Android mobile operating system (which has previously seen Oracle use the power of Harry Potter to make its point).
However, Google chairman Eric Schmidt, who was CEO of Google from 2001 to 2011, has taken the unusual step of commenting publicly on the case in a post made via Google+ to deny Oracle's claims.
"We typically try to avoid getting dragged into public battles with other companies. But I've gotten a lot of questions about [Oracle CEO] Larry Ellison's claims that Google 'took [Oracle's] stuff'. It's simply untrue - and that's not just my opinion, but the judgment of a US district court," wrote Schmidt.
"Here are the facts," he continued. "In 2012, after Oracle sued Google for patent and copyright infringement in a case involving Java and Android, a jury found that we had not infringed Oracle's patents.
"And the Court ruled that copyright could not be used to block others from using the 'structure, sequence and organisation' of APIs, the language that allows different computer programs and systems to talk to each other.
"The ruling protects a principle vital to innovation: you cannot copyright an idea, like a method of operation. For example, no one can copyright the idea of adding two numbers together."
Schmidt added that the case demonstrated a need for patent reform in order to protect the development of new technology.
"This case goes to the heart of the current and much-needed debate about patent reform. Patents were designed to encourage invention, not stop the development of new ideas and technologies," he wrote.
"And getting that right is what really matters. I know all of the above because I was heavily involved at Sun with Java and I had the privilege, thanks to Oracle, of testifying in this trial."
Oracle continues to argue that Google plagiarised its work, with CEO Larry Ellison recently going so far as to label the web company "absolutely evil".